Federici Avoids Halfway House For Role In Abramoff Scheme

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Of all the officials who pleaded guilty to crimes related to the corruption ring surrounding Jack Abramoff — and there have been many — Italia Federici has probably gotten off the lightest.

Federici, 38, served as a go-between for Abramoff and high-ranking officials in the Department of the Interior. She avoided jail time by agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors back in June 2007, when she pleaded guilty to tax evasion and obstructing a Senate investigation.

Now a federal judge has ruled she won’t have to serve the 60 days in a halfway house that was supposed to be a part of her four years of probation — for now at least. U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle agreed yesterday to hold that part of her sentence “in abeyance” while Federici remains on probation until 2011.

Federici’s cooperation last year was key to the conviction of Steven Griles, formerly the deputy secretary of the Interior Department (and also her ex-boyfriend). Griles was sentenced to 10 months in prison last year.